Oregon basketball finds a win vs Utah Utes to close out the regular season

Utah guard Gabe Madsen snags a pass from Oregon center N'Faly Dante as the Oregon Ducks host the
Utah guard Gabe Madsen snags a pass from Oregon center N'Faly Dante as the Oregon Ducks host the / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

It was somewhat fitting the way Oregon basketball earned their 20th win of the season. It came down to missed shots in the final minutes by both the Ducks and Utah Utes.

It was a 66-65 win for Oregon. The 20th win benchmark for Head Coach Dana Altman continues from his first season with the Ducks.

The game was a little more relaxed for Oregon as the seeding for the Pac-12 Tournament was set following the games on Thursday.

Regardless of the outcome, the Ducks will be the fourth seed and earn a first-round bye later this week in Las Vegas.

N’Faly Dante and Jackson Shelstad were active early with Shelstad hitting several key shots to give Oregon a 10-point lead with back-to-back three-point shots in the first five minutes, but Utah would work their way back into the game.

It would go back and forth with the Utes leading by five points going into halftime.

Dante was impressive again, as he was on Thursday vs Colorado, and is now clearly back to full strength following his injury earlier this season. He finished the game with 19 points off 8 for 9 shooting and pulled down 12 rebounds.

Oregon shot 42 percent for the game, but just 20 percent from three-point range. Both teams had 11 points off the bench, an area that has lacked the last several games for Altman and the Ducks.

The final minutes of the game saw a lack of scoring on both teams. The last four minutes of the game saw no points for either team, but the Utes had a good look at a three-pointer in the final second of the game that saw Dante pull down the rebound for a 66-65 win.

The way this season has gone, the Ducks will take it.

Oregon now heads into the Pac-12 Tournament looking to find some momentum. The Ducks will likely need to win the tourney to get into the NCAA Tournament. They will face the winner of the 5 vs 12 game on Wednesday with Oregon State meeting UCLA.

The Ducks play Thursday at 2:30 p.m. PT versus the Beavers or the Bruins.